Dr. Anthony Fauci is a world-renowned infectious disease expert. He is also a key member of United States President Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force. Since Dr. Fauci has been a regular fixture at briefings along with HIV/AIDS expert Dr.Deborah Birx, he has become a household name. However, that prestigious status does not mean that Dr. Fauci is beyond being blocked by the Trump White House from testifying before Congress regarding the COVID-19 response.
Evan Hollander, spokesperson for the Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, says of the matter:
“The Appropriations Committee sought Dr. Anthony Fauci as a witness at next week’s Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee hearing on COVID-19 response. We have been informed by an administration official that the White House has blocked Dr. Fauci from testifying.”
The Trump White House confirms the action, per Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere:
“While the Trump Administration continues its whole-of-government response to COVID-19, including safely opening up America again and expediting vaccine development, it is counter-productive to have the very individuals involved in those efforts appearing at Congressional hearings. We are committed to working with Congress to offer testimony at the appropriate time.”
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany echoed Deere’s statement, with a seeming reason for blocking Fauci from speaking to the Democratic-led House:
“When we pressed for details as to why Dr. Fauci in particular was the right person for the testimony and this hearing, those details were never provided.”
Considering that Dr. Fauci is an infectious disease expert and on the pandemic task force is not enough of a reason for him to give details regarding the response to Congress, it would seem. However, Dr. Fauci is set to speak to the Republican-led Senate on the very same matter. He will speak before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on May 12. Per Chairman Lamar Alexander’s office:
“Chairman Alexander looks forward to hearing from Dr. Fauci and other administration officials at the Senate health committee’s second hearing back, which will be on Tuesday, May 12.”
There is no word on whether the Senate Committee offered an explanation for Dr. Fauci’s appearance, or whether they were asked for one.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.